Is sex important in a romantic relationship? There’s no one-size-fits-all answer to this.
Everyone’s different, and what’s important for some may not be at all important for others.
It ultimately depends on your personal beliefs, physical desires, and the nature of your relationship.
Many people have happy, fulfilling, healthy romantic relationships without having sex with their partners (or only having sex with their partners once in a while).
There are many reasons why people don’t want to, or don’t, have sex. This may include:
- having a low libido (also known as “sex drive”)
- living with an underlying medical condition, such as chronic pain
- wanting to date for a longer period of time before having sex
- being unmarried and wanting to abstain from sex before marriage
However, this doesn’t mean that the relationship will be unhealthy. And it certainly isn’t a sign that your partner doesn’t love or value you!
The bottom line? Sexual activity isn’t necessary for a healthy relationship.
For other people, sex is an important part of romantic relationships. Many people want to have a sexual connection with their romantic partner.
Sexuality exists on a spectrum. Asexual people experience little-to-no sexual attraction (and usually don’t have sex, though each person is different), while allosexual people do experience sexual attraction.
Because there’s such a variety in our feelings about sex and our capacities for sexual attraction, we all have different approaches to sex — but no approach is wrong.
There are many reasons why sex might be an important part of your relationship. For example:
- It could be an opportunity to bond with your partner.
- It could be an opportunity to show your partner love and affection.
- You might feel more secure in your relationship if you’re having sex often.
- It could simply be pleasurable and fun.
- You could be trying to become pregnant.
Sex offers a lot of benefits outside of pleasure, and there are many reasons why having sex is good for your brain, body, and relationship.
Many people have emotional motivations for having sex. There are a variety of emotional benefits of sex, including:
- It could improve your self-confidence.
- It could help you connect with your own body in a pleasurable way.
- It could help you bond with your partner, and it could be a way of expressing love and care for them.
- It can relieve stress.
Sex can be good for your body and physical health, too. For example, some research suggests that sex can:
- Boost immune function. A 2004 study showed that people who had sex more frequently had better immune systems.
- Be a form of light exercise. A 2013 studyTrusted Source showed that we get a surprisingly good workout from having sex.
- Improve heart health. A 2010 study found that having regular sex may reduce the risk of developing heart disease.
- Boost cognitive function. A 2016 study found that sexually active people aged 50 to 90 years old had better memory.
- Soothe headaches. A 2013 study showed that sex can relieve migraines or cluster headaches.
This doesn’t mean that people who abstain from sex will definitely become physically ill or struggle emotionally — it just means that people who have sex may also see improvement in other areas.
These benefits shouldn’t be used to guilt people into having sex if they don’t want to do so.